History of the Ridgetrail

The Blue Ridge or Blauer Kammweg saw the light of day in 1902, more precisely on April 13. That day, representatives of German mountain and tourist associations, operating in northern Bohemia and southern Lusatia, met in Varnsdorf with the aim of planning an almost monumental, uniformly marked trail leading through the top parts of the Lusatian Mountains. At that time, they had no idea what dimensions the route would grow to and what recognition they would receive. They found inspiration in the famous system of alpine trails around the Zell am See spa in Salzburg, in the Thuringian Cross-Country Trail and a smaller system of trails in Šumava. The first part of the Blue ridge route was designed from Ještěd to Růžový vrch. The very initiative to establish a ridge route came from Mr. J. Mohr of Rumburk, the travel master of the Mountain Association for the Northernmost Bohemia, who was also in charge of coordination and supervision of the whole event. It was also agreed at the meeting that the costs of marking the route will be borne by the individual associations in their territory. The whole ridge road was approximately 60 km long and a uniform specific marking was agreed for it, most often zinc plates with a four-toothed blue ridge in a white field. The idea of ​​the whole route was that over time, other marked routes would be connected to this backbone part, creating an unprecedented complex of trails serving hikers.

The course of the route was designed to pass through important, significant points in the landscape. It started from Ještěd in a north-westerly direction along the Ještěd ridge via Výpřež, Malý Ještěd, Lom hill, the chapel of St.Christophus, Malý Vápenný, Zdislavský Špičák and Velký Vápenný to the Na rozkoši saddle. From there, the route continued to the Lusatian Mountains, over a hill called Vysoká, Ostrý vrch to Horní Sedlo, to Popova skála, to the saddle below Podkova to Tobiáš's pine. Here, the path moved a short distance to the present territory of Germany, to the village of Lückendorf and back to our territory to the border saddle Kammloch. It continued to the hill Hvozd, Jánské kameny, Plešivec, Krkavčí kameny, the highest mountain of the Lusatian mountains Luž, around the ruins of the Tolštejn castle to Jedlová, Krásné pole over the Studenec hill to the villages of Líska and Kamenice. In these places, the ridge left the Lusatian Mountains and passed into the territory of the current PLA Labské pískovce, where it led through the village Všemily. The entire route, this part of the ridge, ended in the Czech Switzerland National Park, where it ran from Dolský mlýn to the finish, Růžový vrch. 

In a short time (September 1903), a mountain association for the Ještěd and Jizera Mountains joined the project, together with the Krkonoše Association, who proposed the continuation of the route to the east. From Ještěd through the town of Liberec along the Jizera Mountains Hlubocký ridge towards Tanvald and along the highest Krkonoše parts, all the way to the highest mountain in the Czech Republic, Sněžka.

In 1904, the slogan "From Děčín to Aš" with one of the basic creators, Josef Franz Brechensbauer, was added by the Krušné hory associations, and in 1913 the trail was extended to Blankenstein nad Sálou. The Ore Mountains part was demarcated in 1905 with the help and support of the Saxon Ore Mountains Association. It counted about 290 km and led from the Děčín Elbe across the Ore Mountains to the slopes of Smrčin by Aš. With the gradual addition of associations, the idea of ​​opening almost all Central European ridges from the Saarland to Silesia began to come true. 

During the period of the First Republic, at the time of its greatest glory, Blue Ridgetrail led from Thuringia's Blankenstein on Saale, through the whole Ore Mountains to Bohemian Switzerland and further through the Lusatian Mountains, Ještěd ridge and Jizera Mountains to the Krkonoše Mountains, from where it continued through Broumovsko, Orlické Mountains and Kralický Sněžník to the highest peak of Hrubý Jeseník, Praděd. At that time, it reached a length of about 800 km.
Created 21.11.2019 16:43:13 | read 14704x | jaroslav.stefacek
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